出埃及记 | Exodus

Exodus

After the artistic breakthrough and acclaim of Isabella, maverick director Edmond Pang Ho Cheung returns to black comedy territory with his new film Exodus. From Men Suddenly in Black, Beyond Our Ken, You shoot I shoot, Pang’s films often spin gender issues into wry commentary, and he takes this “battle of the sexes” concept to the next level with Exodus. Black comedy, suspense thriller, and male mid-life crisis drama all rolled into one, Exodus throws out a seemingly ridiculous premise – women are conspiring to kill men! – and challenges both the protagonist and the audience into amused belief. A low-ranking cop often relegated to desk duty, middle-aged Tsim Kin Yip lives a stable, mundane life with his young yoga instructor wife Ann. The monotony is broken one day when he interrogates Kwan Ping Man, a nervous, profanity-spouting man caught spying in the women’s bathroom. Kwan, who seems to have more than a few screws loose, confides to Tsim a shocking secret: a ring of women conspiring to murder men. Everyday, plans are whispered in restrooms and deaths are carefully engineered, so that men die unnoticeable from “accidents” that are anything but. Tsim initially dismisses Kwan’s conspiracy theory, but then clues crop up suggesting there is something fishy at work. Both his marriage and life could be at stake as Tsim becomes increasingly obsessed with cracking the case.

Directed by Ho-Cheung Pang | Starring : Simon Yam, Annie Liu, Nick Cheung, Irene Wan, Maggie Siu | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival

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胭脂扣 | Rouge

Rouge2

Starring late Hong Kong legends Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, Rouge from acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Kwan tells a sad and enchanting love story about passion, dedication, fate, and karma. Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong’s “flower houses” – bordellos and night clubs of the 1930’s. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir to a chain of pharmacies. They agree to a suicide pact. Jump ahead 50 years to modern Hong Kong: Fleur’s ghost appears in Yuen’s newspaper office, wanting to place an ad to find Chan, who never arrived in the afterlife. Yuen, and his equally bewildered girl friend, An Chor, are captivated by Fleur and her story.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Alex Man, Emily Chu, Irene Wan | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival